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New iPhone app seeks to lower distracted driving car accidents

Texting and driving and other distracted driving behaviors are a consistently referenced reason for a large segment of car accidents in Florida and across the nation. Law enforcement and governmental authorities have tried to diminish the frequency of drivers who are using their smartphones and other devices behind the wheel. Another strategy that might prove useful for this endeavor is the companies taking the initiative and implementing methods to stop people from texting and driving.

A new feature for the iPhone that is being released is an attempt to reduce distracted driving. A setting called "Do Not Disturb While Driving" will silence notifications and incoming text messages while the device is connected to a vehicle using cable or Bluetooth. This will be ready by the fall of 2017. Generic messages saying that the recipient is driving will be the auto-reply.

However, drivers will still be able to use maps. There will also be a way for a passenger to remove that mode and use the device. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that at least eight people die and more than 1,100 are injured in accidents due to distracted driving each day. The number of road fatalities rose by 6 percent from 2015 to 2016. Distracted driving is believed to be a major reason for this.

Although this is a useful step to try and reduce the number of people who are texting, checking email, using social media and doing any number of other things on their smartphone, there are obvious holes in the plan that will allow people to continue as before. No matter the tactics that are used to reduce the tendency to drive while distracted, it will likely continue. Those who have been injured or lost a loved one in a crash due to distracted driving need to be aware of how it can impact their lives and take steps to be compensated. Discussing a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit with a legal professional is the first step.

Source: Huffington Post, "Your iPhone Could Stop You From Texting And Driving Soon," Hayley Miller, June 6, 2017

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